In 2017, the Indian government deactivated lakhs of PAN numbers after they found that there were several individuals using multiple PAN cards. It was also found that there were many fake PAN cards. They were also deactivated. This was done so that there were no identity thefts and also individuals were not misreporting income using multiple PAN.

As you might already know, a single individual can hold only one PAN card. If you have more than one PAN card, then you have to pay a penalty of Rs. 10,000 if it is discovered. This is as per section 272B of the income tax act. You will have to surrender the additional PAN cards.

In this melee of cancellation of multiple PAN cards held by an individual, there are genuine cases where the PAN number of an individual was deactivated by mistake. What if your PAN is one of them? Here are the steps to find out if your PAN is still active.

  • Go to the income tax department’s website –
  • Click on the ‘Know Your PAN’ link
  • You will have to give several details such as your first name, surname, date of birth and mobile number. Some might be optional while others are mandatory.
  • In case there are multiple records found for the details given by you, you might have to give additional details such as your father or mother’s name, father’s middle name or surname.
  • Once you submit the details, you will get a One Time Password (OTP) on your mobile number.
  • Enter the OTP on the page and submit it.
  • You will be able to see the status of your PAN on the income tax website’s page. Details such as your first name, surname and your citizenship will also be displayed. The status is usually displayed in the remarks column on the page.

Found that your PAN has got deactivated? If you think it was a mistake, you can get it activated by following the below steps.

First, you will have to write a letter to the income tax Assessing Officer (AO) in your jurisdiction. The letter will contain a request to activate your PAN. This is usually in the form of an indemnity bond. In this bond or affidavit, you will declare your PAN number and that you are being assessed in that jurisdiction for tax purposes.

The affidavit will also declare that you have only the PAN that you use and the PAN number is as stated in the affidavit. You will also have to mention that you hold no other PAN card and if there are any other found in your name, they can be deactivated. You will at the end request the AO to activate your PAN.

After preparing the affidavit, you will be required to attach copies of your income tax returns to this. You might be required to submit copies of the last three years’ income tax returns. Take a copy of the PAN that was deactivated and attach it to the affidavit. Submit all the documents to the income tax department in your jurisdiction. It might take a week or two for the tax department to verify your details and reactivate your PAN.

Cancelling multiple PAN

If you have multiple PAN cards, you will have to cancel the additional ones before you submit the affidavit. How to do this? You can go to the income tax department’s website for this. Click on the ‘Surrender duplicate PAN’ link and give the details of all those PAN cards that you want to cancel. You might be asked to enter details such as your name, date of birth and mobile number.

The National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) website can also be used to cancel duplicate PAN cards. Here the steps are a bit different. Go to the NSDL website and click on the ‘PAN change request’ link. You will be provided with a form where you can give the details of the PAN that you use and the PAN numbers that you want to cancel. Submit the form along with copies of PAN cards that you want to cancel.

When you are waiting for your PAN card to be activated, you can use your Aadhaar instead. Aadhaar will now be required for many transactions including mutual fund investments, real estate purchases and opening bank accounts

Staff Writer

This article is written by RupeeIQ editorial staff.